Here’s a short letter on use of force, disability, and transparency I sent to my representatives:
To those in Dripping Springs, Hays County, and Texas state government,
In response to a public information request for use of force policies, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office provided only eight pages of policy. The policy does not address deescalation, chokeholds, duty to intervene, warn before shooting, moving vehicles, transparency, or reporting. For more, I discuss what little there is of the policy here:
I share this to bring awareness and to urge policy agendas of transparency and accountability in policing.
Local policy agenda:
State policy agenda:
As a neurodivergent parent of neurodivergent kids, use of force is of particular interest to me and my family. Police use of force and school-to-prison pipelines disproportionately impact those with disabilities. Use of force policy should be available online to all and should address neurodiversity, mental illness, disability, and deescalation. Use of force is a social contract to be discussed openly.
Help bring transparency and end compliance culture. We are responsible for humanizing the systems we inhabit. Encourage and require transparency from Texas law enforcement agencies. Dallas PD serves as a role model. They’ve taken positive steps toward transparency.
This is not all on police. They need support to handle the big issues of disability, neurodiversity, and mental illness. They need resources, training, and the assistance of other institutions and social structures. They should not have to fill the massive lack of services for our most vulnerable citizens.
With open data and open government, we can work on these issues together. Default to open. Sunlight heals.